FATHER KNOWS BEST
Suggested Reading: 1 Kings 20
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Key Verse: 1 Kings 20:43
So the King of Israel went to his house sullen and displeased, and came to Samaria.
Here is a prime example of a failure in godly leadership by King Ahab. The Lord arranged tests for Ahab in which he failed. While Ahab still had his title as King, his wife, Jezebel, had become the real leader. Yesterday’s reading began with the words, “And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done.” Then Jezebel took over. Verse two of 1 Kings 19 says, “Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah saying….” There is no doubt that after the Mt. Carmel confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, Ahab knew what was right and what he should do. He was too weak as a leader to take his place of authority as King and as a husband. Now in today’s reading, Ahab continues to waffle in his decisions. While Jezebel is not mentioned in the 20th chapter, we can be sure that Ahab continued in the pattern already established. No doubt he “told Jezebel all.” God was seeking to lead Ahab, but while Ahab knew the victory God gave initially over Ben Hadad, he failed to follow God’s leading fully. Ahab’s reaction to the final word of a prophet of God, probably a graduate of Elijah’s School of the Prophets, caused him to pout in a childish way. Ahab needed to call on God fervently, man up, and lead according to the way God instructed him. He failed to do so. His leadership was slipping away.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, there is a lesson for me to learn here. Two characters in today’s reading failed to follow through as You had instructed. May I hear Your instructions clearly and may I have the intestinal fortitude to follow through. Please keep me from being “sullen and displeased.” I need Your strength, Lord. In the Name of the strongest Leader ever, the Lord Jesus, Himself, Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
The night before last, as Norma-Jean and I were about to close our eyes in sleep, I turned to her and said, “Thank you darling for your support of my leadership.” I didn’t bring this up, but in our marriage ceremony of 55 years ago, she actually promised to obey me. In this day of political correctness, that sounds positively old fashioned. In my early days of ministry, it was generally agreed that the internal discussions of the Board of Deacons in the churches I pastored, and later in the Board of Crossroads, stayed there, and a Deacon or Director would not do as Ahab did in telling all to his wife. From a personal point of view, I wanted to leave these matters inside the Boardroom. I very much wanted my home and my marriage relationship to concentrate on our family and our relationship as husband and wife. I think I can say that the result was harmony in our home, and great success in the ministry to which God called me. For this I give God the glory. Please forgive me if I’ve offended anyone here. It’s just that every time I read about Jezebel, I’m amazed at her control. Why, even Elijah, fresh from the victory of God sending the fire to consume the sacrifice, was overpowered by her. Thanks again Norma-Jean that you were willing to let me be a strong leader without interference on the home front.
Readers may be aware that I’m in chemo treatment for acute leukemia. Rose is the lead nurse for most of the time I’m in treatment. In her youth, she was the best friend to my eldest daughter, Elaine. She was often at our house as a child and also as a teen. One time she and Elaine were sitting on the stairs in a very serious conversation (we had a good laugh about this the other day) when I heard Rose say, “Your father is so old fashioned.” They were not aware that I had come within hearing distance. Elaine agreed with her friend. Shortly after I mentioned to them what I had accidently heard and that I was not deliberately eves dropping. They laughed nervously, and I laughed heartily, confessing that they were absolutely right in their assessment of who I am. I don’t remember the full conversation, but we might remember that those were the days when one of the top TV show reruns was called, “Father Knows Best.” I pled guilty as charged, and I assured these wonderful teenagers that I had no intention of changing.
Yours for hearing from God. Father God knows best!